JUSUN Serves Anambra Government Two-Week Strike Notice | Independent Newspapers Limited
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JUSUN Serves Anambra Government Two-Week Strike Notice

Posted: Jun 23, 2016 at 5:32 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chukwujekwu Ilozue

AwkaThe lingering dispute between the Anambra State Government and the state branch of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) took a turn for the worse on Thursday when the judiciary workers issued the government a two-week ultimatum to adhere to the Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) it signed earlier with it or face industrial action.

Comrade Mark Ifezue, the state chairman of JUSUN, who stated this in Awaka, the state capital, said that the union had already issued its members letters to stand-by for action.

 The union attached a letter, which it wrote to the state government as a reminder, and the state government’s reply through Prof. Solo Osita Chukwulobelu, the secretary to the state (SSG).

Ifezue said that the union had made repeated demands for the payment of the contentious leave grant with no positive response from the state government.

 He said: “Recall that the Union has written severally to the state government, drawing their attention to the continued breach of the MoU on Financial Autonomy of the State Judiciary entered into by the State Government and the Judiciary Staff Union; but could only get an unhelpful response from the office of the Secretary to the State Government.

 “The Union view with regret, the deliberate refusal of the State Government to keep to her own side of the bargain; the Union equally regret the deliberate intention to starve the Judiciary of fund to execute her capital Projects.

  “It is almost impossible to power generators in the respective High Courts in the State and the Courts are sitting under a very harsh condition! Virtually all the Magistrate Courts are dilapidated and the working environment of the workers is unimaginably horrible. A good number of workers are without chairs and tables and other working materials.

 “The Union found it very unsatisfactory, that outside the initial release made to the State Judiciary in the First quarter of 2015 consequent upon which the strike was suspended, the   State Government has not deemed it fit to make further release in line with the M.O.U, despite repeated demands”

“The State Government has equally refused to pay the 2015 leave allowance of the Staff of the Suite Judiciary when other Civil Servants in the employ of the State have been paid.

 “We have shown sufficient patience and understanding, and our patience over- stretched, the Judiciary workers will not be punished for asking for an autonomy for the State Judiciary, which as a matter of fact and by law is legitimate.

 “Sequel to the above, the enlarged Executive Committee of the Union met on the 16th Day of June 2016 and after reviewing the situation resolved as follows”

 “To request the State Government to effectively address the issues raised within two weeks from date i.e. the issue of non compliance with the M.O.U as it regards capital votes and nonpayment of Leave allowance”

 “To take any action we deem fit and proper as a last resort without further recourse to the State Government by this notice, you are enjoined to be on alert and await further directives from the Union, which may be sudden”

 However, in a letter to the union dated March 11 and signed by the   Chukuwlobelu, the government stated that the matter of budgetary allocation of funds was not a union issue, but a matter better handled between the Governor and the Chief Judge who is the head of judiciary.

The letter added: “It is observed that government is not signatory to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) annexed to your letter under reference.

 “Lastly, considering the present fragile financial/economic situation of the country (Anambra state is not in any way, shape or form immune from it), may I advise that the time is totally inauspicious for this type of threatening and combative correspondence from any union.

“Essentially, there is no “them and us” between workers on one side and the government on the other, in this administration, please, be guided accordingly,” the state government wrote.